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DA heading to court to challenge govt's decision to temporarily close schools

President Cyril Ramaphosa instructed children and teachers at public schools to remain at home from Monday until 24 August, with the exception of matrics and grade 7s who will return sooner.

DA interim leader John Steenhuisen at the media briefing at Nkululeko House on 23 February 2020. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

DURBAN - The DA is going to court to challenge government’s decision to temporarily close schools.

The party’s interim leader John Steenhuisen confirmed this on Friday while responding to Thursday night’s announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Steenhuisen said government’s decision perpetuated inequality and went against scientific advice.

He maintained that the closure of schools for four weeks was irrational because scientific evidence showed that pupils and teachers were not at a higher risk of coronavirus exposure at schools.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga also made this point in her statement on Thursday night in which she cited the opinions of medical and science experts that pupils were better off at school.

Steenhuisen did not mince his words.

“This is certainly not a decision that has been made in the best interests of South Africa’s 14 million school-going children.

He claimed the decision to close schools again was politically motivated.

“It’s a decision of the ANC capitulating to the all-powerful unions, particularly Sadtu.”

The DA says the nine million pupils who depend on the school feeding schemes would suffer as a result - although the government has said that the national school nutrition programme should continue.

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